Gearing Up for a Word War: When Do You Push the Button?

by Jan Geronimo on April 2, 2009

Goats butting heads.Image via Wikipedia

I had an interesting day in Twitter the other day. I followed a meta blogger who had many times baited an A-list blogger into a word war. I had read a few exchanges between the two and I must say the A-list blogger handled himself well. He remained levelheaded, answered the points raised by his nemesis with calm and deliberation. But the lesser light of the meta blogging world would not let go. Perhaps realizing the futility of engaging the other blogger in a long and fruitless debate the superstar blogger let it rest.

I am friends with both the superstar blogger and the superstar wannabe in Twitter. And a delicious thought ran through my mind. I’m in the front row seat of the Twitter coliseum. Has superstar wannabe outgrown his grievances? After all, I have seen their online tussle when I was still a mere blog reader and Twitter then was not as big as it is now. Will superstar wannabe use Twitter to showcase his gladiatorial skill? Interesting Twitter melodrama.

And this makes me think: Would I have acted with the same supreme coolness that superstar blogger displayed?

I doubt it. But of course I’ve been blogging for only four months now. I have not yet been tested in such sticky situations yet – no occasion to feel anger or betrayal. So I’m interested to know. What gets your goat? What are the issues or wrong moves of other bloggers that will surely get you riled up?

Will you write a stinging post? Are you up for waging a word war on a matter of principle? Or will you just hide your broken arm in your sleeves?

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  • Jan
    @Brad: Getting attention of readers and keeping it is a tricky thing. That title post was one of those moments when an idea took a life of its own. I need attention, but not if I sound ridiculously like a garish tabloid.

    I hope I haven't started a bush fire with that post. Hey, I like it you've an excellent post on writing headlines. Just what I needed.
  • Brad Shorr
    Jan, Let's hope your luck continues to hold. You might be playing with fire with those "sex" titles, tho. :)
  • Jan
    @Brad: My luck is holding. That's the beauty of a quiet blog. It isn't worth a visitation/visit from trolls or spiteful individuals. Thank you, Brad, for sharing.
  • Brad Shorr
    One thing that annoys me is snarky anonymous comments. People should stand behind what they say. If you can't take the heat or fear looking ridiculous, you should probably keep your mouth (or keyboard) shut. As long as people converse with respect,we should all be willing to consider other ideas and opinions.
  • Jan
    @elmot: Where have you been, buddy. Long time no tweet, huh.

    And who was this troll? Please DM me in Twitter. lol
  • elmot
    hi jan! been out of the blogosphere for a number of days that seemed eternity.

    i don't really like stuffs like this one...i experienced such thing too when a guy suddenly sent me mortars online...and what i did was to simply be calm and not fall into his bait.

    the nerve? this amateur blogger could really do that? i pity him/her....
  • Jan
    @fifi: That can work, too. But I will not say that within hearing of my readers. Even my askal might be offended and just might give me the evil eye, I think. Of course, if my sanity is at stake, I just might. hahaha
  • fifi
    on indifference, my friend had this mantra about blogs that annoy: others' blog do not exist, only yours does. works everytime.
  • Jan
    @Petit: It's not hate that gets to me. It's the indifference. You're right about that. Spot on. :)
  • Petit
    I would rather be the superstar blogger who laid it to rest. I agree with xprosaic and dee, it depends if it’s worth it. If that attention-seeking troll needs a wake-up call, then post your proper defenses, hit the publish button, make your points audibly clear, then drop it and let it go! That’s just it. Promise yourself that you won’t visit that site so you won’t be bothered, and way to go, you could lie in your bed sound asleep. Wouldn’t it be amusing to know that it disappoints them that you’re not affected anymore? I might as well spend my time making new blogs for my readers than to be glued on the same issue over and over again. Am I right, Jan?
  • Jan
    @Dee: Sensible advice. Your son must be nodding in agreement,"Way to go, mom. You need not worry..." :)
  • Dee
    For me, it depends if it's all worth it, 'worth it' being the operative word, of course. If there's something for me there, then I just might write a post or or stand up for what I believe in. If not, then what does it matter anyway. I don't want to unnecessarily tax my heart for something that ain't even worth it. :D
  • Jan
    @yatot: Ok then. The good thing is that you're here cloaked with some of those superpower traits, flying to rescue some bloggers in distress. :)
  • yatot
    @jan: wwhahahahha... it's six feeet under! nyahahhaha...
  • Jan
    @Fifi: Oh it's a she. I thought it was an LQ. LOL.

    You've got a point - trolls don't listen to logic or reason. Although it's best to answer at least once so you get yourself heard. After it's your name or personal brand he/she's tearing at.

    @yatot: Yatot in a word war? That's news to me. lol. I've heard it pa naman you're being groomed to be the Ambassador to the Vatican. hahaha.

    Good idea, super secret blog. lol. Where is it now? I want to pay my respects. hahaha.

    @xprosaic: Irreverent replies to trollish comments - that's a good idea. You know what, I think nothing deflates a troll's ego than to be laughed at. I love your term "kaadikang sagot." :)
  • I am Xprosaic
    It's obvious that you can't please everybody... So there will always be instances of having a rotten tomatoe... Kung magpapadala ka sa emosyon mo o di kaya mapikon ka eh yun na simula na ng word war... pero siguro kung di mo naman seseryosohin yung sinasabi at suklian mo lang ng kaadikang sagot eh siguro asaran na lang yun kung ituring rather than a serious one... la lang... mas masaya pa rin ang wala kang kasamaan ng loob diba?! Kanya kanyang style lang yan...respeto na lang jijijijijijiji
  • yatot
    me too! i was once had a word war with a certain newbie blogger... but i used a different persona... it's not yatot who argued to this person... wahehhehheehe... it's from my supersecret blog... which was by the way, long dead already! hahahha
  • fifi
    @bingkee: when you try to justify yourself, that's when the rebuttal starts and it never ends unless you decide that it should. i agree with roy to have all comments moderated, it is your page and you call the shots after all.

    @jan: the he is actually a she. that person even had the nerve to quote portions of my blog. talk about direct attack; subtlety simply eluded that person. so puerile.
  • Jan
    @Bingkee: And he called himself a book author? But of course anybody can author a book these days. It must have hurt you to be told to go back to "your" country. The USA might be your second home away from Pinas but it's your country, too.

    If his mind is a parachute - to paraphrase the saying - he would have already plunged to his death for being close-minded.

    Yeah, I've read about that woman. She must have read the name of your domain and from that alone let loose her inner troll. Not amusing though.

    Maybe I'd go back to comment moderation once I get spammed or disrespected. Or when my readers get disrespected by internet ghouls. Whichever comes first. lol.

    Thanks for sharing these stories, Bingkee.
  • bingkee
    personally by nature, I am very assertive. I don't keep things to myself and I speak if I have to. But as a Christian, it's a struggle for me because I can never let my natural go over what the Holy Spirit dictates me to do.
    You are aware that my blog sometimes stirs provocations, and I had encountered some of those who "don't get it" and instead attack me , and stab me like they want to punch me. I replied to them thru emails to correct and clarify my points hoping to clear up because I thought they might have just misinterpreted it. But most of these attackers really do not have anything in between their ears. They insist that they are right and I am wrong and the one who's cruel and harsh.

    One of my attackers is a 63 year old book author sarcastically asking me "is there anything that I love about America because if not, I should have gone back to my country." I tried to clarify it , but it got worse saying "how judgmental I am" and my opinions are not valid. Another one made a review about my blog saying "too angry , too verbally-violent" and I didn't understand why she said that when not one of my post is a reflection of "anger".

    There were a few others. One was recent --this time I posted a rebuttal because it was too abrasive and demeaning. You know that. The woman who called me "conceited" because I posted some tips on how to look good in photos.

    I try to be patient and be humble because I do not want to displease God with my words. That is why I set my blog to "subject for approval and moderation" before publication so I would know their ISP address. Knowing the ISP address allows me to block them from commenting again --never again.
  • Jan
    @fifi: I have great respect for ex-files myself - after jettisoning them into outer space for good measure. lol.

    @Roy: I thought as much. There's this thing called a gentleman farmer. Well, you're a gentleman blogger with many children blogs. lol
  • Roy
    hmm... word war? not really my style, altough you may see me spitting a mouthful in my posts, I am very respectful when I am at other people's blog.

    What if they come to me?

    That's one reason all comments are held for moderation ;)
  • fifi
    lol. it isn't as titillating as it sounds, really, just ex-files that refuse to be archived into oblivion.
  • Jan
    @fifi: And what,pray, constitutes complicated emotional entanglement? lol. Sounds delicious. I'm all ears. He has a blog? Did you check recently? hehehe.
  • fifi
    hi jan. i had once found myself in a word war before, the very reason i stopped blogging. it did stress me out, though my posts showed that i was always on a fighting stance. i could have copied the posts of that person and returned it to him edited (what's with the consistent misspelling of simple words and too much reliance on highfalutin words that sounded amateur), complete in red ink! but that would be mean and i am not. it would have been rewarding had we both been fighting over sensible things, but no, we were just both ripping each other online due to some complicated emotional entanglements. had to stop the madness. so i did.
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